Special Correspondent

Change in policy for investment of surplus funds by PSUs

Combined initial investment of Rs.125 crore

Some units to be commissioned

within a year

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Even as the rest of the nation is talking about disinvesting public sector undertakings (PSUs), the State is poised to get eight new PSUs with a combined initial investment of Rs.125 crore.

Presenting the 2010-'11 budget in the Assembly on Friday, Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac said some of the new PSUs would be commissioned within a year, an achievement which, in his words, “will stand out as the most lustrous golden feather on the cap of the Industries Department.”

The proposed new PSUs are Komalapuram Hi-Tech Spinning and Weaving Mill having an initial outlay of Rs.36 crore, Kannur High Tech Weaving Factory (Rs.20 crore), Textile Mill at Kasaragod (Rs.16 crore), Traco Cable unit at Kannur (Rs.12 crore), Tool Room of the Kerala State Small Industries Development Corporation (SIDCO) at Kozhikode (Rs.12 crore), Keltron unit at Kuttippuram (Rs.12 crore), Steel Forging unit at Shoranur (Rs.12 crore) and Meter factory of United Electricals at Palakkad (Rs.5 crore).

The Finance Minister said new PSUs would be started on the strength of a basic change in the policy for investment of surplus funds by PSUs. Under the amended policy, PSUs having cash surplus after paying dividend to the government would be permitted to utilise 20 per cent of the share capital from their surplus fund for modernisation and expansion without the prior approval of the government and to invest their surplus funds as share capital or loan for starting new institutions. Dr. Isaac said Kerala would secure the rare distinction of having all the public sector industrial institutions running on profit if five more institutions became profitable. The public sector, which had incurred losses totalling Rs.70 crore during 2005-'06, was expected to make a combined profit of Rs.200 crore in 2009-'10.

The government, he said, expected investment to the tune of Rs.275 crore in PSUs. This would include Rs.100 crore for modernisation of Kerala Minerals and Metals Limited (KMML), Rs.10 crore for setting up new steel casting line in Autokast, Rs.34 crore for total renovation and creation of new production line of Kerala State Drugs and Pharmaceuticals (KSDP) Limited, Rs.51 crore modernisation of Travancore Cochin Chemicals (TCC), Rs.25 crore for modernisation of Travancore Titanium Products Limited, Rs.15 crore for doubling the capacity of Malabar Spinning and Weaving Mills and Rs.30 crore for modernisation of Kerala Electricals Limited (KEL).

The Finance Minister also set apart Rs.55 crore for the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) for the initial work on the proposed life sciences park, Kazhakoottam, titanium complex, Kollam, thermal plant at Cheemeni in Kannur, footwear park at Kinaloor, international expo centre on FACT campus, Kochi, and the city gas distribution project.

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